On 01/01/21, Jackson (Jack) Alder Keate, our son, brother, grandson, cousin, friend, and a joyful spark in our lives passed away. He came into the world with tons of passion – a contagious passion that lifted and energized everyone who knew him. After celebrating what he said was the best month of his life, his journey came to an abrupt end in a tragic car accident that left his family and friends with shattered hearts.
Family and friends meant everything to Jack and he rarely missed an opportunity to express his affection and gratitude. His expression was genuine and enthusiastic – using phrases like “I love you so so much!” “This is the best meal of my life!” and “Thank you so so much!”
Jack had a particularly special connection with his mother. The youngest of four children, he would frequently turn to the strength of his mother, especially when his older siblings liked to push some of his buttons. As a small boy, one of Jack’s favorite things to do was to snuggle with his mom and older siblings in her bed. As he grew, so did his admiration and respect for his mother. He loved her passion for life, her generosity, and her knack for planning grand adventures. He loved her fiercely and developed a strong loyalty for friends and family following her example.
Jack shared a special relationship with his father. When he was young, he loved to join in the nightly ritual of “Tickle Tackle Time” taking his turn being thrown off his father‘s back and getting tickled. Later in life, he developed a love for running like his dad. Some of their favorite memories were made on the run or before a race.
Jack loved his siblings and loved spending time with them. His world expanded when his mother remarried – bringing an additional six brothers and sisters into his life. His world expanded again when his father remarried and the sibling count went up by another four. He navigated the challenges that came through blended families by quickly accepting his new step parents and 10 step siblings. To Jackson, they were all family and he quickly developed deep and meaningful connections with them. His deep impact on all of our lives has left a hole that will never be filled—a hole that will bring us equal parts pain and joy when we think of him.
Jackson had an abundance of grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins whom he loved dearly. Some of his favorite memories were made while zip-lining in Mt Shasta with the Alders and at Sunday dinners at Papa and Gram’s with the Keates. He treated all family members with warmth and open arms. They meant the absolute world to him. And he was blessed to be adored and loved by all of them.
After a timid start to his athletic confidence, Jackson’s confidence expanded when he was embraced by the Lone Peak Ultimate Frisbee Team. The inclusivity, camaraderie, and exercise transformed Jackson. He loved the members of his team and got the opportunity to be a team captain.
As a sophomore in high school, Jackson decided to join the Lone Peak Cross Country team. This decision was like a catapult to Jackson’s confidence and passion for life. He met dozens of kids who are kind, intelligent, hard-working, and full of adventure. Members of his team became his closest friends and he wanted to spend as much time as possible basking in their awesomeness. Like so many other activities in life, Jackson would often run with a smile.
Those of us who have been a part of his journey all along the way got to witness the blossoming of a young man. We watched as a fire was lit inside of him. He loved music and wanted to play it loud. He loved to dance and could spontaneously break out at any moment and dance like nobody was watching. We all experienced a greater sense of freedom just being around him. When he played a game, Jackson was ALL IN! Few people in life are able to live life so immersed in the moment.
Because Jackson was so accepting and because he wanted everyone to be happy, he had a natural skill of bringing people together. His life is a beautiful portrait of acceptance and inclusivity. His passing has powerfully brought so many of us together. It’s impossible to comprehend the true extent of just how broadly his love lifted the world around him.
His earthly family consists of his mother Melanie Alder, father Scott Keate, and his siblings Jacob Keate, Makayla Keate, and Conner Keate. Melanie is married to David Wright. Their clan is complemented by Mason Wright, Lexi Wright, Preston Wright, Brooke Wright, Aston Wright, and Claire Wright. Scott is married to Stephanie Angelos Keate and their crew includes Samantha Nielson, Dan Nielson, Zoe Nielson, and Zack Nielson. Jack loved them all!
Jack we will miss your hugs. We will miss your infectious smile and laugh. We will miss your enthusiastic greetings and over-the-top praise. We have been changed deeply and profoundly by your irreplaceable place in our lives. We will always be challenged to smile brighter, live more boldly, dance more freely, and #LiveLikeJack.
“For me, as for so many runners, there really are no finish lines. Runs end; running doesn’t
“This life ends; Living doesn’t”
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